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County adopts updated COVID-19 isolation period guidance 

masksMasking still required after leaving isolation

– State and local officials have updated COVID-19 guidance, shortening the isolation period for those with the virus to five days. According to the new guidance, members of the general public with COVID-19 who feel well, have improving symptoms, and have been fever-free for 24 hours can leave isolation after five days, followed by a period of strict masking around others. A negative antigen test is no longer required to exit isolation after five days, as previously required.

The update will take effect on Monday, March 13, with a new state order. The County of San Luis Obispo Health Officer has rescinded the COVID-19 order to Isolate issued on Nov. 28, 2022, to align with this guidance, effective the same date.

According to County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein, staying home if feeling sick remains the most important action people can take during the pandemic. “If you are feeling better after five days and no longer have a fever, you can end your isolation while being vigilant to mask around others,” she said, “That means avoiding situations where you might take off your mask, like eating at a restaurant or exercising in a gym.”

The California Department of Public Health recently announced a series of changes following the end of the COVID-19 State of Emergency. With these updates, most state requirements related to masking and vaccination will be replaced with recommendations.

Dr. Borenstein encouraged residents to take advantage of the tools available to them to fight COVID-19. She said, “Most adults can now get prescription medicine to treat COVID-19 at no cost. We have updated booster vaccines and widely available at-home testing. If you need help accessing any of these tools, I encourage you to contact your doctor or our Public Health team.”

Residents can get updates on COVID-19 in SLO County by visiting or calling the recorded Public Health Information Line at (805) 788-2903. Public Health phone support is available at (805) 781-5500 Monday – Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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